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Thread: Newbie at Gene Café

  1. #1
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    Newbie at Gene Café

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Another step into the coffee thing... I just buy a Gene Café Roaster *;) Problem is that I dont know how coffee roast works.. Could anyone give me some tips? Any guide about using Gene Café to get optimal results?

    I have some questions.

    - I have read that some people pre-heat the unit. Why is important? How to do it?

    - Most times I read that people lower temp setting after the first crack. Why? How do you know if its necessary for a specific bean? How much temp lower?

    - Most people seems to use the Emergency Stop to cool the beans in the outside. Why not to use the gene Café cool down cycle?


    Thanks!!


  2. #2
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    Re: Newbie at Gene Café

    Hi Oton,

    1. Ive never pre-heated so I cant answer this one.

    2. This will probably help to extend the time between first crack and second crack which is sometimes seen as desirable.

    3. The reason most people use the emergency stop is because (in my experience) it can take between 7 and 12 minutes to cool the beans down to 60 degrees inside the drum. Theres an article in the first issue of BeanScene where Ross Quail from Jasper Coffee talks about the importance of fast cooling, which mentions:

    "...coffee that has taken a long time to cool presents itself as somewhat flat, lifeless or with a baked falvour. The internal heat (endothermic) must be halted as soon as possible via the cooling process."
    He then goes on to talk about some modifications they did to their shop roaster where they decreased cooling time from about three minutes to just over two. He describes the effect of this apparently minor change:

    This may all sound like small potatoes, but when we cupped the coffee blind we were bowled over by the quality of the rapidly cooled coffee. Coffee nuances that were, in the past, a little muted were now up front and dancing, and the aromatics of the beans were noticeably enhanced, as well as the sweetness of the coffee itself... to sum up, the extra cooling time meant that the coffee continued to roast while in the cooling tray and was bound to foil all our efforts to produce the style of coffee we were intending to create."
    So I reckon if a reduction from three to just over two minutes can make that much difference, youre going to lose a lot by letting the beans cool to 60 degrees over about 10 minutes! After using the Gene, this was one of the things that sold me on the Hottop as it cools the beans to stone cold within about 4 minutes.

    I did talk to the importer, Serge from Go Barista, a while ago about using the emergency stop on a regular basis when we were working out the contents of our Tips and Tricks sheet to supply with the Gene when we sell them. He strongly recommended against doing this as it is designed as an emergency function not a regular operation and doesnt allow the unit to properly cool which could shorten its lifespan. However I guess its up to the individual what they choose to do, and certainly youll probably get better tasting beans if you get them out of the drum as soon as possible; but its good to hear an experts take on this, and ultimately like many things: "ignore the manufactuers recommendations at your own peril!". Serges recommendation was to stop the roast a little early and allow second crack to start near the beginning of the cooling cycle so they dont progress too far and then start to cool.

    Greg

  3. #3
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    Re: Newbie at Gene Café

    Preheating:

    Well reading some old threads, people were getting better results with preheating.

    I tried it and found a much improved aroma in the beans and quality in the cup. I would not attempt to describe why :)

    Typically what I do, is run the Gene Empty for about 5 mins at max heat to get everything up to temperature. When sitting at about 240 deg or so, I use the emergency stop, remove the drum, fill it and then start my roast.

    I think professional roaster preheat as well as a rule.

    The other thing thing that preheating does is give you some repeatability especially if you do back to back roasts.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Dennis's Avatar
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    Re: Newbie at Gene Café


    The importer is actually Avacuppa.

    Some very useful reading here...

    http://www.avacuppa.com.au/mediawiki/index.php?title=Coffee_Roasting_Using_Gene_Cafe_(G C)_-_Tips_and_Techniques

  5. #5
    Senior Member GregWormald's Avatar
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    Re: Newbie at Gene Café

    Hi,

    I never pre-heat--I tried it a couple of times and couldnt taste any improvement.

    I cool in the machine. The beans darken for 20-30 seconds after I push cool, so I take that into account. I tried the emergency stop and quick cool and couldnt taste any improvement.

    My "standard" roast is to set Gene for 215-220°C for 20 minutes and roast 300gm. Since I drink doppio ristretto piccolo lattés most often I take the roast to the first lonely snaps of second crack, and push cool. This is usually at CS 9-CS 10. I like the slower ramp-up the low set temperature gives, and I now dont lower the temp at first crack because the lower set temp takes more time to initiate second crack. If Im after a roast for straight ristrettos or non-espresso, I roast one CS number lighter.

    I usually aim for second crack between 4 and 6 minutes after first. The exact temp setting will vary due to machine differences (yours vs mine) and bean differences and the colour you want your beans. Experiment until you get what you want.

    Greg
    (Warning--Monsoon Malabar needs a VERY different profile!)

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    Re: Newbie at Gene Café

    I was just not getting that aroma out of the bag after roasting (bags ballooning due to degassing).

    By preheating and dumping the beans via emergency stop into a colander and cooling, I noticed a significant improvement in aroma and degassing. And ultimately was happier with my roasts.

    Again - each to his own. :)

  7. #7
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    Re: Newbie at Gene Café

    Quote Originally Posted by 6C4D4646415B280 link=1242157445/3#3 date=1242174254
    The importer is actually Avacuppa.

    Some very useful reading here...

    http://www.avacuppa.com.au/mediawiki/index.php?title=Coffee_Roasting_Using_Gene_Cafe_(G C)_-_Tips_and_Techniques
    *As I understand*, Go Barista has been importing these again for 12 months or so after acting in that role a few years back. We bought our Gene Cafe stock last year directly from them and they handled the warranty on the faulty unit we had - very professionally too, I might add. But I stand to be corrected if any of this is not the case.

    Greg

  8. #8
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    Re: Newbie at Gene Café

    Quote Originally Posted by 6C796E6C7B7E6767666A650B0 link=1242157445/7#7 date=1242187621
    Quote Originally Posted by 6C4D4646415B280 link=1242157445/3#3 date=1242174254
    The importer is actually Avacuppa.

    Some very useful reading here...

    http://www.avacuppa.com.au/mediawiki/index.php?title=Coffee_Roasting_Using_Gene_Cafe_(G C)_-_Tips_and_Techniques
    *As I understand*, Go Barista has been importing these again for 12 months or so after acting in that role a few years back. We bought our Gene Cafe stock last year directly from them and they handled the warranty on the faulty unit we had - very professionally too, I might add. But I stand to be corrected if any of this is not the case.

    Greg
    Both companies are sponsors and unless something has changed recently, I believe that both continue to import the Gene Cafe. Avacuppa is definitley still supplying.

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    Re: Newbie at Gene Café

    Nice info. Thanks!

    I have turn on Gene Café to check if its works right (I have no green beans yet) and my kitchen has started to smell like burn plastic. I dont want that my coffee tastes like plastic! :(

    Will Gene Cafe plastic smell dissappears?

  10. #10
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    Re: Newbie at Gene Café

    Today I turn it on Gene Café again to check how it works (empty)... It reaches 250ºC in 3:39 *:o Is it normal? It seems too fast to me.


    MOD: Sorry, Im not sure if perhaps this thread should be in Roaster Machines section...

  11. #11
    Senior Member GregWormald's Avatar
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    Re: Newbie at Gene Café

    It will heat a bit of air much faster than 250-300 grams of beans!

    Greg

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    Re: Newbie at Gene Café

    Quote Originally Posted by 677C6766080 link=1242157445/0#0 date=1242157445
    Another step into the coffee thing... I just buy a Gene Café Roaster *;) Problem is that I dont know how coffee roast works.. Could anyone give me some tips? Any guide about using Gene Café to get optimal results?

    I have some questions.

    - I have read that some people pre-heat the unit. Why is important? How to do it?
    You pre-heat if you are interested in doing back to back roasts some day, so the timings are the same, otherwise first roast takes longer.

    I heat to about 90, then hit cool to get it to 60, where a normal batch would end. Makes about 2-3 minutes diffeence to the roast.

    - Most times I read that people lower temp setting after the first crack. Why? How do you know if its necessary for a specific bean? How much temp lower?
    Depends on the temp they normally roast at. The manual suggested 250c all the way, but that results in a gap from FC-SC too short, so dropping to 235-ish is a good idea.

    For a lot of my roasting, Ive found 235c all they way simply works, but with each new bean Ill run a 235c all the way and a 250 to FC then 235 to see if it is better.

    Then, based on elapsed time and the result, you can go up or down from there. KEEP RECORDS!!!

    - Most people seems to use the Emergency Stop to cool the beans in the outside. Why not to use the gene Café cool down cycle?
    I beleive most people do not do this.

    Some people do as it makes it easier to hit a target roast, and, all things being equal, a faster cooling is better than a slower one. Not had a problem letting it cool normally, unless Ive overcooked it.

  13. #13
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    Re: Newbie at Gene Café

    Thanks for the tips jaclarkaus :)


    I think I wasted my first roast. It smells more like popcorn (burn or roasted popcorns) like a coffee. I storage it in a ziplock bag (no valve) and I dont see any signs of degassing - the bag does not swell. And I have a lot of divots. *:-[ (I have not brewed it yet)

    I just preheated to 90ºC then cool to 60ºC. I roasted at max. - 250ºC from start to SC... So, the no-coffee smell, no degassing and divots are all due to high temperature?


    By the way... I did not know how the sound of FC and SC would be and if I was going to be able to hear it in Gene Café as some people have said. Well, luckily I had no problems (and I have some hearing loss); first crack sounds like popcorns while second crack sound like "snaps". *:)

  14. #14
    Senior Member Koffee_Kosmo's Avatar
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    Re: Newbie at Gene Café

    Hola Oton
    Hope the file I sent you with 30 + roast profiles with cupping notes for the Gene Café will help you in your quest for a productive roasting experience 8-)

    KK

  15. #15
    Senior Member GregWormald's Avatar
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    Re: Newbie at Gene Café

    Behmor Coffee Roaster
    Oton,

    Freshly roasted coffee can often smell like popcorn for a day or more. The taste test is the only one that counts!

    Greg



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